Reduction of echo decorrelation via complex principal component filtering.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

Ultrasound motion estimation is a fundamental component of clinical and research techniques that include color flow Doppler, spectral Doppler, radiation force imaging and ultrasound-based elasticity estimation. In each of these applications, motion estimates are corrupted by signal decorrelation that originates from nonuniform target motion across the acoustic beam. In this article, complex principal component filtering (PCF) is demonstrated as a filtering technique for dramatically reducing echo decorrelation in blood flow estimation and radiation force imaging. We present simulation results from a wide range of imaging conditions that illustrate a dramatic improvement over simple bandpass filtering in terms of overall echo decorrelation (< or =99.9% reduction), root mean square error (< or =97.3% reduction) and the standard deviation of displacement estimates (< or =97.4% reduction). A radiation force imaging technique, termed sonorheometry, was applied to fresh whole blood during coagulation, and complex PCF operated on the returning echoes. Sonorheometry was specifically chosen as an example radiation force imaging technique in which echo decorrelation corrupts motion estimation. At 2 min after initiation of blood coagulation, the average echo correlation for sonorheometry improved from 0.996 to 0.9999, which corresponded to a 41.0% reduction in motion estimation variance as predicted by the Cramer-Rao lower bound under reasonable imaging conditions. We also applied complex PCF to improve blood velocity estimates from the left carotid artery of a healthy 23-year-old male. At the location of peak blood velocity, complex PCF improved the correlation of consecutive echo signals from an average correlation of 0.94 to 0.998. The improved echo correlation for both sonorheometry and blood flow estimation yielded motion estimates that exhibited more consistent responses with less noise. Complex PCF reduces speckle decorrelation and improves the performance of ultrasonic motion estimation.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Mauldin, FW; Viola, F; Walker, WF

Published Date

  • August 2009

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 35 / 8

Start / End Page

  • 1325 - 1343

PubMed ID

  • 19520491

Pubmed Central ID

  • PMC2755262

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1879-291X

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0301-5629

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1016/j.ultrasmedbio.2009.01.013

Language

  • eng